Monday, November 21, 2022

Wallingford Center: For the Hardy, Hardcore or Cozy

11/19/22 Wallingford Center behind trees

Located inside the restored Interlake Public School building, Wallingford Center is a spacious retail and business venue that was originally built in 1908. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s an ideal winter meetup location for USk Seattle because it offers shelter if the weather is bad and an old surrounding neighborhood if the weather is hospitable. On a brilliantly sunny but cold Saturday, a strong turnout of urban sketchers bundled up for the morning, though I must say that not many were hardy (or hardcore) enough to sketch outdoors.

Taekwondo Institute building
Chilled the whole time, even while standing in the sun, I’m not sure I qualify as hardy, so I must be hardcore. I started out with a sketch of an old building at the corner of North 45th and Burke Avenue North, which is currently the home of the Taikwondo Institute (at right). The building is actually blue and yellow, neither of which I have in my secondary triad palette, so I looked at it as a study in cool and warm by using dark violet and orange.

Needing to warm up, I went inside Wallingford Center, where the majority of sketchers had smartly and comfortably settled in. I think some of the center’s boutique shops didn’t survive the pandemic; I saw several shuttered spots and not many shoppers. In fact, I saw almost no one besides sketchers! At the end of one corridor, I found a beautiful, quarter-round-shaped window in the wall between the main hall and a stairwell. It was just the kind of thing I like to take on with a small value study.

Inside Wallingford Center

After that short break, I put my down parka and gloves back on to venture outdoors for one more sketch. The entrance of Wallingford Center with columns was mostly in shade, but from across the street, I got a good view of the airy, orange tree in front (top of post). I wanted to be sure to get the open panel truck, so I put that in first, and sure enough, it drove off shortly thereafter.

The hardy...

... and the cozy!

Not exactly mobbed with shoppers.


  1. Looks like a cosy indoor space for sketching. What a shame there isn't much business going on.

    1. Yes, it's sad... but no one seemed to mind that the place was filled with sketchers! :-)

  2. Great work! I really love the composition of the one on the orange paper. The window frame, the perspective, and the plant at the front add so much depth. The trees and colors in the top sketch are also very nicely balanced.

    1. Thank you! The one on orange paper was my favorite of the day!


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